Toon lose unbeaten record – Man City v Newcastle report / highlights

Posted on November 19th, 2011 | 24 Comments |

Man City 3-1 Newcastle United
Giving us a taste of what's to come?
Newcastle United lose their unbeaten record for the season to Manchester City with 2 penalties and a few hundred million pounds making all the difference.

First Half

We got off to a promising start, attacking from the off up the right. Sammy put in a poor cross through and it eventually went out for a goal kick off Danny Simpson.

City spent a few minutes passing the ball amongst their back four, looking for an attack route and had their first meaningful attack after 4 and a half minutes when Milner’s shot was blocked by Guthrie. Not long after that, Richards got a good cross in and Steven Taylor had to clear the ball. Taylor was again called into action shortly afterwards to block a shot from Milner.

City had a lot of possession in the first 15 minutes but so far we’d managed to deal with them and even started to make some forward runs ourselves with Sammy dribbling nicely up the right only to finish off with a poor cross.

City came back on the counter attack and it took a block by Taylor and a nice interception by Colo to keep things intact, although on 20 minutes we were lucky when Aguero was in a good position to get a shot off and put it over the bar.

Ba picked up a knock jumping for a ball; either it was caused by Lescott’s boot on his foot as he jumped or he landed badly. He limped around for a few minutes afterwards by eventually seemed to run it off.

Simpson laid off a good ball to Sammy and I have no idea whether he was crossing or shooting but it was easy enough for the keeper to collect.

On 27 minutes we had a dodgy moment when Clichy and Balotelli contrived to make life difficult for us in the box and Colo had to frantically clear, almost taking it out of Krul’s hands. That was closely followed by a De Jong shot that was blocked by Steven Taylor. Shortly afterwards Milner set up Balotelli for a powerful header and it took Tim Krul’s fingertips to push it over the crossbar.

After that veritable onslaught though, we had possibly our best chance of the game so far as Benny showed some of the skills we know he has. Him and Ba worked well together: Ba passed to Benny who executed a nice reverse back to Ba whose shot produced a good save from Hart.

And we continued to attack. First of all Ryan Taylor’s free kick bounced off the wall and then Sammy and Simpson worked the ball up the right and won a corner. Cabaye’s corner was good enough to find the head of Demba Ba but he put it beyond the far post.

We’d been holding up reasonably well in defence but a City attack led to Ryan Taylor handling the ball in the area at around 40 minutes. It was accidental, although his arms were outstretched and the referee pointed straight to the spot. Balotelli took an arrogant penalty, pausing in his run and then casually slotting it into the net. 1-0.

This bucked City up a bit and they started working up more attacks, which led to more bad news for us. Ryan Taylor found himself with two left feet and couldn’t control the ball in the box under pressure so Micah Richards took it calmly off and hammered the shot past Krul. 2-0.

There was just time for Sammy to try a hopeful shot at the other end – easily saved by Hart – and it was half time.

Second Half

Well, we had to attack this half and that’s what we tried to do. We had a corner and a free kick but nothing came of them and we even had a decent spell of possession around the City box for a while but couldn’t make much of it.

City were well into their stride now and the 2 goal lead seemed to relax them to the benefit of their overall game. They look very relaxed on the ball – casual even – but their passes are often quick and inch perfect and they can break ahead with speed when they need to. One such situation saw Toure charge into the box trying to get away from Colocinni but Colo was up to the task and managed to clear the ball away.

We had a bit of luck at one point when a mad scramble in our box looked sure to be another City goal but Steven Taylor managed to clear it away from right in front of goal.

On 60 minutes, Benny once again displayed great skill to thread himself and the ball between two defenders and he got in a great shot. I was already jumping in celebration but the ball bounced off the post and allowed Hart to clear it away for a corner. Cabaye’s corner was decent though and Colo thumped it through about 75 players where it eventually went wide of the post.

Aguero had a good chance for City as he ran through our defence and looked a cert to score, but Tim Krul managed to get the ball off him.

We were still doing some attacking though. A Simpson cross was good for Ba but he couldn’t seem to get a decent header on it and then Guthrie passed the ball to Colo on the edge of the City box and continued to run around the outside of the City defence to the left. Colo passed the ball back to Guthrie but he just couldn’t squeeze it past Hart’s gloves to its target just inside the far post. That was another really good chance for us.

On 68 minutes City took off Balotelli, which was good news, and brought on David Silva, which wasn’t. Depth is something City certainly aren’t lacking.

Alas we fell foul of the penalty spot again after Ben Arfa was adjudged to have brought down Micah Richards in the area. Aguero stepped up to make it 3-0.

On 73 minutes Adam Johnson came on for Aguero and Lovenkrands came on for Ben Arfa and a few minutes later Gosling came on for Sammy.

City just seemed to be soaking up any pressure we applied and pushing forward when they had the chance. They had a few corners that came to nothing and we tried to press forward when we could but we were looking tired now.

Barry came on for Toure and Perch came on for Cabaye and it just looked like City were happy to play keepies and run down time. However, during one of our forays forwards, Ba got into a decent position in front of goal, forcing Hart the scramble the ball away from Ba’s feet. Gosling was arriving in the area at speed though and picked up the loose ball and scored. 3-1.

Johnson crossed a dangerous ball into our box looking for Silva but we managed to clear it and the game ended 3-1 to City.


Well, considering what we were up against I thought we defended reasonably well. We only gave away one goal in open play and matched that by scoring against them. We were undone by the two penalties really, although I can’t argue with either or them. Perhaps the second was a bit soft but penalties are given for that sort of thing these days and the players know that.

I still think City could have gone up another gear if they’d wanted to. Nobody has taken any points at Eastlands this season and I’d be surprised if anyone does. There is a huge financial gulf between the two teams and we simply can’t compete with that, but I think we acquitted ourselves as well as could be realistically expected in the circumstances.

Man of the match from the Toon side was Steven Taylor for me today.

Thankfully it’s only Manchester United next week!

Match highlights

Highlights of the game.

As usual, I shall endeavour to update these highlights with better ones when they become available.

Post match interviews

Post match interview with Alan Pardew.

Post match interview with Roberto Mancini.

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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24 Responses

  1. Great performance by the Toon…..proper grafters and without a silly handball and a silly HBA lunge who knows.
    At or place we will smash them and if we play like that against Man Spew we will at least get a point.
    Chelsea at our place….we will smash the back end out of them!

  2. sirjasontoon says:
    November 19, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    “Gosling cost me a full 3 points in the predictor fookin PRICK !!”

    I’ve just looked at the League SJT. You must want to throttle the bastad!

  3. We missed 3 or 4 really good chances today and gave away 3 really soft goals so we can’t complain but they hardly steamrollered us. I’m still fairly confident going to OT and def home to Chelsea. If we get Tiote back and Raylor sorts his shiz out we’ll be OK.

    Good things today, Ben Arfa showed some class, what he is capable of and that he can cause any defense problems. I still think we need to give him until next season to really settle into the PL and show his skills. This is effectively his first season and he’s got to get over the mental issues surrounding his injuries so let’s be patient with him.

    Sammy is up to the PL. He is looking really good IMO and by the end of the year I hope will have torn a few fullbacks apart. Nice to have a winger looking to go past players, and he can do it too. Frightening pace, he can be a force a few years down the line and a smashing lad.

    Our CBs weren’t really troubled today, they look so strong and if we can keep them together most of season we won’t lose too many games. We lost to a poor display at LB today.

  4. I fookin’ hate Gosling haha!!
    Jokin’ aside very proud of the lads really good shift.
    HBA has so much potential would have loved to see him score today,on another day we might have nicked something.
    Man City are awesome though and hardly broke a sweat to be honest and like NUFC they have a good local fanbase that had been starved for years.
    I just wish we had a man upstairs that seen the bigger picture would gamble on spending a little bit more and have some vision it seems with MA we will always be handicapped.

  5. Got to say though offering players like Sammy Ameobi 5 year deals speaks volumes about the clubs ambitions…..I think he would struggle in the championship seen him a couple of times now and being stuck with him for another 5 years is daunting….I don’t know how his older brother has got away with it so long but he has….I am sure they have some incriminating evidence against the gangland bosses within SDA or something.

  6. The team put out a big effort to-day and played the full ninety minutes, a massive effort against one of the top sides in the world.
    Yeah i see a lot of potential in Sammy, he should be a handful in a couple of years.
    And were it not for injuries, neither Gosling or Guthrie would be getting playing time, and it’s obvious, the rust shows, why were they not getting match practice with the reserves?
    We don’t have to find a DM to fill in for Tiote, we have one Jonas, he won’t be missed on the wing as we have Ferguson, Marveaux and Sammy.
    We have both Obertan and HBA + Jonas for the right wing.
    Cabaye, HBA, Abeid, Guthrie, Gosling can play in the middle.
    With Ba and Best +Shola up front and if necessary HBA.
    So we have some versatile players, the point is to make use of them, get them playing time using them as subs in every game.
    Same goes with Santon, how does he get match ready without playing time, plus of course we need overall help there at the back.
    Especially following a game like to day, full of running.
    Like to see the stats on how much ground each guy covered to-day.
    Look we may not beat some of the top sides but if we can win against the lower placed clubs we have an opportunity to play in the Euafa Cup or whatever they call it now, i believe.

  7. Great effort from the Toon today. I liked it when Pardew called Raylor a “hero” over the season so far. It describes the spirit of our side. We came up against a purring Rolls-Royce and did not disgrace ourselves in any shape or form. A proud day. Well done lads! And thanks guys for the blogs and comments. HWTL!

  8. Glad to hear that there were no injuries and that we did alright. We were always going to need the best of British (did I use that right?) to get anything out of this match so at least we’re not short even more players. Roll on manure (not in it, however). HWTL.

  9. Tripp says:
    November 20, 2011 at 2:38 am

    “We were always going to need the best of British (did I use that right?)”

    Yes, you did Tripp.

    Paul, aye they are a Rolls Royce, but what pisses me off is that they weren’t even purring that much. That isn’t a criticism of our lot, more exasperation at how good they are because I don’t like to see autocrats like Mansour or extortionists like Abramovich taking over football with their ill gotten gains.

    Incidentally, one of their best players today was James Milner. When he was a Newcastle player, many fans were fairly lukewarm about him and often accused him of having “no end product”.

    When Ashley sold him to Aston Villa for £12 million, He and Llambias were cock-a-hoop, and even Keegan thought it was a good price. Llambias may have even bragged about it as he did about the Carroll deal recently, yet Villa sold him on Man City for double that ywo years later.

    Knowing our luck, Liverpool will probably flog Carroll for £70 million in a coupke of years! :lol:

  10. With time this team will win a Ghanaian who love NUFC but people always make fun of me cos i don’t support the teams that are winning trophies but i know our time is very very near.I LOVE NUFC.Newcastle Forever.Its in my blood

  11. Nyemasem says:

    November 20, 2011 at 9:28 am

    “With time this team will win a Ghanaian who love NUFC but people always make fun of me cos i don’t support the teams that are winning trophies but i know our time is very very near.I LOVE NUFC.Newcastle Forever.Its in my blood”

    Good for you Nyemasem! But what do your friends do if their teams stop winning trophies? Do they just start supporting other teams? Because if they do that’s not supporting really. You’re supposed to support teams through thick and thin, or in Newcastle’s case, thin and thin!

  12. workyticket says:
    November 20, 2011 at 4:50 am

    “I don’t like to see autocrats like Mansour or extortionists like Abramovich taking over football with their ill gotten gains.”

    Agreed Worky. Money ruins just about everything. I hear there are going to be some new “rules” about that but I don’t how they will apply. An article would be good if you are able to explain how every club needs to conform.

  13. Paul in Hollywood says:

    November 20, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    “Agreed Worky. Money ruins just about everything.”

    Paul, it’s not “money” I object to as such, it’s just how they made it. I have nothing against people such Dietmar Hopp or Paul Allen (the founder of MySAP and the co-founder of Microsoft respectively) investing large sums in sports clubs (which they have). On the other hand, to see people like Roman Abramovich, or the rulers of autocratic states such as Abu Dhabi, buy respectabilty by spending their ill gotten gains in such a vulgar and excessive fashion makes a mockery of the “fit and proper person” test for prospective owners of Premiership clubs. It’s a sham.

  14. Paul in Hollywood says:

    November 20, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    “I hear there are going to be some new “rules” about that but I don’t how they will apply. An article would be good if you are able to explain how every club needs to conform.”

    Paul, if you mean UEFA’s “financial fair play rules”, Manchester City have just made a mockery of that with their £400 million naming rights deal from Etihad, which happens to be run by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan’s half brother, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan.

  15. Worky, money ruins everything… well too much money does anyways. Look at American politics (grim, I know). $82K was recently spent on a bloody school board election. Yes, a school board election. $4B were spent on the 2010 mid-term elections. At least in sports you can bring in talented entertainers. In politics, you just get tossers of the first division (to paraphrase Mr. Mercury). OK, rant over.

  16. “run by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan’s half brother, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan” – you couldn’t make it up could you! It’s getting like Carry On Football – without the laughs

  17. Tripp says:

    November 20, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    “Worky, money ruins everything… well too much money does anyways.”

    It depends on who has the money Tripp. The Dietmar Hopp chap I mentioned above, as well as propelling his boyhood club, 1899 Hoffenheim, into top division of the German Bundesliga, has also put 70% of his billions to a charitable foundation. Two rather comfortably off chaps from your side of the pond, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, have done similar things too to do stuff like fight malaria in Africa.

  18. That’s true, sadly, they are the more rare sort it would seem. Gates was an absolute douche when he ran MS, but he has atoned for his douche baggery rather spectacularly so kudo’s to him. The German bloke too, but the Germans seem to have a pretty decent world view these days. The US has a lot of growing up to do, but we’re infants compared to you lot across the pond.